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4 Steps to Guarantee a Successful Employee Assessment Implementation

January 24, 2017

assessment-steps.jpgA well-designed employee assessment can do wonders for your company. They can help you decrease turnover, improve productivity, decrease safety incidents, hire better leaders, the list goes on and on. However, an amazing assessment does your organization absolutely no good if recruiters and hiring managers aren’t using it, or if they fail to use it correctly.

Over the hundreds of project implementations, Select’s consultants have identified four tips to ensure sustainability of a pre-hire assessment implementation:

1) Generate end-user buy-in

Start building relationships with all potential partners and stakeholders before the project even kicks off. Make sure you’re having conversations with the end-users of the tool at all phases of the assessment implementation process. This includes anything from planning and selection system design to post-implementation sustainability. 

Engage in conversation with the Talent Acquisition team, Human Resource Business Partners, Hiring Managers – ask for their thoughts, input, and feedback. Then make sure to address that information throughout the project. Bring them along on the assessment implementation journey by providing examples of “You said this…we did this…”. This will ensure that they’re clearly able to see the relationship between what they expressed as an idea or a need, the decisions made during the selection system design, and how the new solution helps them to do their jobs more effectively.

2) Pilot, pilot, pilot

If possible, pilot the test with a smaller, more controlled group first in order to gain feedback and insight. For large implementations in particular, a pilot is a great way to “get your feet wet” before you dive into the deep end of an assessment implementation. Use this information to make improvements before rolling out on a larger scale. Gather feedback from those involved in the pilot. Hear out the challenges and fix them, while also rallying behind and promoting the successes.

Also, make sure to set realistic expectations of what you’ll be able to impact in the short time of a pilot. In a 3-month pilot, you’re not going to solve your organization’s turnover problem, but you will be able to show that recruiters and hiring managers are interviewing fewer, more qualified candidates and that those candidates have positive reactions to the hiring process. Treat the pilot as a learning experience, so that you can set yourself up for a smooth larger scale implementation.

3) Show data

Proactively feed both qualitative and quantitative data back to your organization to show how the tools are working. Monitor assessment completion rates and pass rates. Gather quotes from recruiters and hiring managers about how the process has helped them. 

Proactively sharing this information back to your organization can help to stop hard conversations before they start. If, when faced with a story from a disgruntled hiring manager about how “the assessment is failing everyone,” the project team is able to quickly present hard data of actual pass rates, an otherwise dangerous situation can be de-escalated quickly. Providing hard data also helps to identify where the assessment may not be working as effectively, and allows the opportunity for changes to be made.

4) Educate, myth-bust, and train before, during, and after implementation

Implementing an assessment in your hiring process is not a “set it and forget it” activity. It requires constant education and training. Pre-hire assessments are new and novel to some recruiters and hiring managers. Helping them to better understand what assessments are, their benefits, as well as their limitations is important to the longevity of an assessment implementation. Train users how to read and interpret assessment results and help them see how that information can help them make better hiring decisions. Time spent educating will pay out in dividends.

Following these four tips will help your pre-hire assessment implementation run smoothly, and stay the course.

assessment scores

Laurie Wasko, Ph.D. Laurie Wasko, Ph.D. was the Director of Consulting Services at PSI.